Instead, we provided excellent substrate for a dozen years of dust and mold.
And a mammoth task of sorting and disposal as we're losing the free storage, and now have to rent a small space for the few boxes of dishes from our wedding, photos, a table and chairs my mom doesn't want to move, less than ten percent of our books, some shelves.
What to do then with pretty much an entire household of hand-me-down stuff that we no longer have the margin to keep as an emergency stash? And wouldn't particularly want to at this point.
Friends recommended a yard sale. Put it on Craigs List, they said, and you'll see it all disappear. Hundreds of people scan these sales and snatch up the leftovers. Saturdays are best, so we got up very early on the day we flew out, and unloaded that container, and set our rock-botton one-dollar prices. I was thinking of how we could put the money to good use. We put up posters, and waited for the customers to roll in.
We had precisely three customers.
One lady bought two measuring cups. One guy bought a weed wacker. And the third looked and considered and then left.
It was an epic fail of a yard sale. Our plane was coming in a couple hours, so we had to load it all back in and leave.
It felt like an epic fail of greater proportions. A failure to understand the American yard sale scene, the mechanics of Craigs List (you have to repost every 24 hours), a failure to complete our task, to deal with our things, a failure to finish well. A failure to keep this burden from falling to others. A failure to have things that anyone else values.
So tonight we remember our Good Friday sermon: the disciples needed to understand that failure was the necessary beginning of redemption. I don't know how this miserable yard sale failure will be redeemed, but I do know it will be, somehow, in the all-things-new of undone disappointments.